Friday, 27 March 2009

Quantum of Solace and Taken

Had a rare but welcome night in last night with the family after an early evening meeting and we sat and watched a film together, the second this week - luxury!

The first film we watched was 'Taken' with the very talented Liam Neeson and ex Bond girl Famke Janssen as his divorced wife. Neeson is a retired CIA man who never spent much time at home hence the divorce and there is a daughter by the marriage. The spoiled and hitherto over-protected daughter goes to France on holiday with a girl friend and gets kidnapped to the sex trade and the story is how Neeson gets her back. The film is violent so if you are squeamish don't watch it and although there is not much gore, there are multiple acts of violence leading to people getting killed.

There's nothing very subtle about the film in parts and much of it is predictable, but what is lost if you are not careful is the relationship issues between Neeson and his ex who now has a new rich partner. That is beautifully played and shows the anger and anguish of a divorced couple with plenty of pain in their history. There are bits of Bourne and 007 in there and once on the journey of seeking his daughter, it is a non stop roller coaster of action with sub plots of old French intelligence agency colleagues trying to get Neeson out of the country because of the mayhem he is causing. The fight scenes are heavily edited to shows flashes of spilt second shots making you feel part of the action and that is one of my few criticisms of the film: it's sometimes hard to keep your eyes focused on the action. One to watch.

Quantum of Solace was an excellent piece of fantasy action. I didn't see this at the cinemas because of the mixed reviews and the allegation of there being no plot. This is simply not the case. The plot was thin, yes and the villain, while nasty was also subtle and not the crazy madman we are sometime used to in the older films. Older Bond movies used to move through the plot with lots of shots of the hero going about his business, speaking to people, meeting suspects, making the plot obvious - slowly unfolding, dreadful throw away lines and black humour with occasional action scenes. Not Daniel Craig; his 007 goes from one body crunching experience to another in quick time hardly letting the viewer breathe. It was probably half an hour before the film settled down from a fury of car chases, chases on foot and general mayhem into a nice rhythm. Yet again, what is exciting about this film is a relationship. The relationship between Bond and his master, 'M' deliciously played by Dame Judi Dench is a brilliant chess game to watch and is the real jewel in the crown of the new Bond.

I liked this film and Craig is definitely bedding in (excuse the pun) and there was a brilliant throw back to the Goldfinger film only this time one of his lovers ends up dead in bed, naked and covered in oil! This is slightly unusual film in that there is some continuity with the previous superb production of Casino Royale and this gives it a familiar touch - some of the characters are known and the relationships already understood. This is clearly the second in a trilogy because the dastardly organisation behind the plot is still at large and a mystery to the security service. One criticism - hate the theme music which is instantly forgettable! Highly recommended action thriller.

Today's story:

James Bond is sitting next to a particularly attractive young lady at a bar, and he keeps glancing at his watch. Noticing this rather odd behaviour, the young lady leans across to 007: 'Excuse me, but you keep looking at your wach. Are you waiting for someone?'

'No' replies the intrepid secret agent. 'Q gave me this watch, it's our latest piece of field equipment. It uses alpha waves to talk to me telepathically.'

'Really,' says the girl, intrigued. 'What's it telling you about me, then?'

'Well,' says Bond, 'it's telling me you're not wearing any knickers!'

The girl laughs out loud. 'Well you'll have to tell your friend Q that it's not working right, because I AM wearing knickers!'

Bond looks at the watch and taps the dial. 'Damn thing's an hour fast!'

Chat soon


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